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Consequences, opportunities, and procedures

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This paper reflects on consequentialism which underlies the traditional normative economics. It asserts that the informational basis of normative economics should be expanded so that the intrinsic value of social choice procedures should be properly taken into account along with the value of their consequences. Three examples – the problem of fair cake division, the role of competition in the promotion of economic welfare, and bilateral trade restrictions – are invoked to pinpoint the services rendered by procedural considerations in making social welfare judgements. The Pareto libertarian paradox is also re-examined within the extended framework incorporating procedural considerations along with consequential considerations.

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Received: 25 March 1997 / Accepted: 8 July 1997

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Suzumura, K. Consequences, opportunities, and procedures. Soc Choice Welfare 16, 17–40 (1999).

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